There are many ways in which you can improve your mental health. One that is often overlooked, though, is humor. Can you laugh away your symptoms?Tweet
When I am out and about with friends and or family, you’ll often find them shaking their head. Then it’s followed with an “Oh, John.” I usually follow up with, “what?”
So then, why do those around me feel the need to react in such a way? Because I am funny, of course – or at least I think I am. Hey, that’s what matters most – right?
While my brand of humor isn’t for everyone, I have been able to get a giggle or two. “If I can add a little light to someone’s day, then why not?” Another one of my trademark responses to shaking heads.
And for the longest time, I have tried to figure out who I am being funny for. Myself, for others, or for both. I’d like to think it’s for both. However, if you were to ask me who it’s mostly for, I’d have to say for me. I came to this conclusion because I often find myself saying, “John, just laugh away your symptoms. You can cope with what’s going on around you better.”
On the other hand, though, I really dislike seeing others suffer. So, I do one of two things – I offer support in any way I can, or I try and make people laugh.
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Humor as a mask?
Even though I feel like I have a good handle on why I like playing the role of a court jester, I think there’s more. For example, we undoubtedly all have had the “classical class clown” in our day. But I bet you’ve never considered why. Furthermore, I bet you may have thought their attempt at being funny was a ploy to distract the class.
But human behaviour is rarely as simplistic as this assumption makes it. In reality, we often wear humor as a mask. I believe we do this for two reasons.
- We are hurting on the inside, but we have no idea why – “Why do I feel sad all the time, like I am worthless?” (Depression).
- We are overwhelmed and feel like we are drowning in the environment we are in. (Unaware that we have a sensitivity to noise. On the autism spectrum or suffering from trauma).
While the above example uses the class-clown scenario, adults have the world as their platform. And…. we may know why we joke and carry on. In my case, I am, most times, just trying to cope with a world I can hardly cope with.
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Therefore, humour is, for me, and I suspect for many others, a coping tool to just “get through” what causes them to feel so much mental pain.
So, keep cracking those jokes and keep making people laugh – its ok to laugh away your symptoms.
The mental health benefits of laughing